Sunday, October 3, 2010

Try This...

Do you ever think of cardamom? I must admit that I don't or didn't, very often. Living in a largely Swedish community as a child and now, I recall talks of the infamously ethereal cardamom bread but that's sort of where it stopped. I have seeds in the pastry cabinet and have been known to substitute them when pods are called for but for the most part, I didn't seek it out. I hadn't fully realized I wasn't adoring it as I should. Wasn't giving it the starring role it calls for - or more appropriately deserves.

A few weeks back I made an Apple Cake that called for cardamom and the opportunity was such that I was able to go the full nine yards. Green pods, cleaned for seeds and ground on an as needed basis.

O - M - G - !

While I have done it before, it was every bit as tedious and, by the standards of some as tremendously superfluous and unnecessary as ever before. However, having the privilege of the final product, worth every single moment.

While some may not have the need for a spice grinder, if you do, I recommend this one. Large capacity, consistent grind. Makes quick work of what used to take a lot of muscle to handle with my mortar and pestle. Compulsive? Maybe....aaahhhh, but just wait.

Okay, so a new application for cardamom in this super easy cake from the September issue of Everday Food. Here we go.

Ready to go 8:00am.......

Into the oven - 8:10am.....

Out of the oven and cooled 9:25am....

9:35am. Enough said.

Cardamom Crumb Cake
loosely adapted from Everday Food, September 2010

3 cups all-purposed flour
2 cups sugar
1 T. baking powder
1/2 t. coarse salt
3/4 cup unsalted butter
2/3 cup milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/3 cup sour cream
1 t. pure vanilla extract
3/4 t. ground cardamom
1 t. finely grated lemon zest

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour a 9" square baking pan. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. With fork or your fingers, cut in butter until crumbs form. Reserve 1 cup of crumb mixture.

Whisk milk, eggs, sour cream, vanilla, cardamom, and lemon zest into remaining crumb mixture until combined. Pour batter into pan and sprinkle reserved crumb mixture on top. Bake until top is golden and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 45 minutes.

Let cool in pan on a wire rack, 30 minutes. Serve cake warm or at room temperature.

1 comment:

Emily said...

Too funny - you're amazing! I love getting up early and baking. I used to have great stamina for getting up early, but lately, man it's hard!!! What time do you get up and do you plan the night before? I'd love your tips. Also, we should meet for coffee soon to catch up!